THC vs. CBD Explained
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are just two of the over 130 different chemical compounds found in a cannabis plant. While the role of THC has been well known for some time – it is the part of the cannabis plant which is responsible for giving you the ‘high’, the effects of CBD were lesser known.
What has recently been discovered is that CBD tends to act as a counterbalance to THC and has a more calming effect. In scientific terms and to use long otherwise meaningless words, THC is psychoactive, and CBD is non-psychoactive.
If we then went in to great detail of the meaning of psychoactive, we’d be here all night, so lets just simplify it as ‘affecting the mind’. Psychoactive is not a description of an active psychopath, so you can relax.
What is the psychoactive high?
The high is a mental state produced as a result of THC binding with cannabinoid 1 or CB1 receptors in the brain. CBD on the other hand does not bind with any receptors and instead is perceived as having a more physiological impact on the body and mind.
There is some debate as to whether CBD is truly non-psychoactive as it is still responsible for having an effect on the brain, having been identified as a mild antidepressant as well as an antipsychotic, which does take us nearer to mentally unstable states of mind.
The role of CB1 and CB2 receptors
In addition to CB1 receptors, THC also activates CB2 receptors, which can affect the body in different ways. This can range from fatigue to the alteration of your senses and hinger, or as it is more scientifically referred to, “the munchies”.
CBD also attaches itself to CB1 and CB2 receptors, but not is such an ‘aggressive’ manner. CBD interacts more indirectly with these receptors by what scientists refer to as ‘modulation’. While doing so, CBD also helps to increase the level of naturally produced endocannabinoids in the body by blocking specific enzymes that would otherwise break them down. Now this is where breakthroughs in the medical studies of the properties of cannabis have spotted something.
THC vs CBD for medical uses
Owing to the different properties of THC and CBD, their individual uses have been identified as follows:
Euphoria and relaxation
Sleep and drowsiness
Because cannabis that is rich in CBD doesn’t get you high, or at least not very high, its benefits could be used in areas where anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, and/or anti-spasm effects could be treated without creating a problem with lethargy or dysphoria.
So, in a nutshell, the difference between THC and CBD can be explained as follows:
I you want to get high, look for cannabis that has a high level of THC. If you are looking more towards the medical benefits of cannabis, look for strains or products made from strains with high levels of CBD.